The Coburn Mystery: Chapter 56

And then San Mateo County Assemblyman and attorney James T. O’Keefe proposed that Pebble Beach become a county park. I’m assuming he was referring to the beach of fancy pebbles, more “valuable” when it wasn’t covered by the incoming tides.

O’Keefe’s constituents in San Mateo were big fans of the resort, he said, and the best thing he could for the voters was to open Pebble Beach as a public park. As another powerful incentive, he pointed to the prosperity that would rain on Pescadero.

The Assemblyman painted a hopeless picture of the situation then, the Coburn “problem,” and all the gory details about the fence (building it up, tearing it down. Again. Again. And Again.) He reminded voters that Loren Coburn owned 3 miles of shoreline, part of the Butano Rancho, from the mouth of Pescadero Creek to Bean Hollow Lagoon.

General store owner J.C. Williamson wrote: “The passage of the bill will forever set to rest any controversy as to the present ownership and right-of-way.”

Most people probably just wanted the beach open so they could enjoy the pebbles.

The “San Mateo Times Gazette” supported Assemblyman O’Keefe’s “Pebble Beach War,” opining that the “most graceful” thing that Loren Coburn could do was to give way to the majority opinion, explaining that the landlord would, in the long run, be “losing little and gaining much more.”

But that was not to be.

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